Newsletter for August 2023

There’s more summer to come at Bay Laurel Garden Center in Atascadero! Temperatures vacillate from high to not as much. Thankfully there are some tough plants that can weather the changes. The ever popular Crape Myrtles are showing their colors – pick your favorite. The new red shades are at the top of the list but you may prefer a softer look – light pink or lavender. We have some very attractive patio trees at this time, but multi-stemmed plants are just as desirable.

Echinacea or cone flowers come alive this time of year. These popular perennials have gone through some real innovations over the past several years. The rosy hued flowers have given way to red, orange and yellow. These hardy plants should be a durable addition to your perennial garden. Don’t forget the gopher cages if applicable.

The summer vegetable planting season is no more. Not true for herbs. We recently received a new infusion at Bay Laurel Garden Center. Pair these with your tomatoes, your squash and eggplant. The regulars include parsley, rosemary, thyme. Not just any thyme. Try English, lemon, the newest variety – ‘Tabor’. This variety is an improved English with larger, dark green leaves. New also is the oregano ‘Zaatar’ or Syrian oregano. It’s used in Middle Eastern cooking. We have French tarragon, basil, and catnip among others. ‘Berggarten’ sage is great for cooking but it along with its variegated mate are both good, tough ornamentals. Lime thyme can also be used as a low growing ground cover.

We love the birds. We feed the birds – but not with the succulent, sweet fruits we labored so hard to produce! Help can be had. Remedies include netting, scare balloons, holographic tape, row cover and inflatable owls. If you’re in need of more fruit trees, our bareroot list should be available in about a month at Bay Laurel Garden Center.

Summer annuals can be looking a bit spent after all this heat. Here are a few good replacements from Bay Laurel Garden Center. Angelonia (summer snapdragons) which come in colors of white, raspberry, blue, purple and bi-colors. Vinca – available in 6 packs, 4″ and hanging baskets. Pentas with star shaped flowers which bloom until frost include shades of violet, red, white and pink.

We’re pleased to have two varieties of the native Asclepias (butterfly weed) on hand in 4″ containers at Bay Laurel Garden Center. These provide the food so important to the Monarch butterfly. Both plants will be drought tolerant when established but give them regular water the first year. Also in the nursery are 4″ containers of the tough Salvia apiana (white sage).

Mick has been busy organizing the Gift House at Bay Laurel Garden Center in Atascadero. It looks great – check it out when you come by next time. We received some reasonably priced pots from Mexico and have a good supply of Talavera as well.

Many ornamental grasses are in their peak bloom at this time. The very popular Calamagrostis variety ‘Karl Foerster’ is one of them. This grass can eventually grow to 6 feet. Another tall grass with variegated leaves is Miscanthus ‘Cabaret’. Its blooms will appear nearer to fall.